William Crimsworth escapes the brutal employment of his brother in a Yorkshire mill town, changes profession and takes a position as tutor in a boys' school in Brussels.
The authoress is unusually frank, for the time, in her scrutiny of the relationship between the teacher and the domineering headmistress of the adjoining girls' school, Zoraide Reuter.
Crimsworth manages to avoid the older woman's manipulation and begins a relationship with a poor pupil/teacher only to have these advances briefly frustrated by the headmistress' jealousy and dislike of the younger woman."The Professor is as good as I can write; it contains more pith, more substance, and more reality, in my judgement!"Charlotte Bronte.
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